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38 minutes ago, averagemedstudent said:

I am average med student. I work really hard and I am dedicated, but I may not be in the top 5-10 percentile ( despite working very hard).I was wondering if I should pursue a competitive specialty if I am not in top of my class? 

Depends on what you mean by "being in the top". Cuz if it's grades, it doesn't matter because it's all Pass/Fail. If it's research, extracurriculars, electives and clerkship feedbacks, then yeah it will be a little tough to be "average" in those things. But except for the very elite few specialties where research is king, the most important factor would be your reference letters and clerkship feedback. 

I heard that it also matters a lot how you work with other people on your electives - programs will ultimately pick someone who they'll enjoy working with for the next few years, and gunners might not always be that type of people. 

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Top 5-10% is defined very differently when it comes to book knowledge vs clinical skills vs evaluating someone for elective performance. It is different again when evaluating someone for an interview and it is different again when it comes time to rank the applicant. No one is at the top in every single definable parameter. When it comes to the interview stage and beyond, personality and reliability matter a lot. The stuff on paper is usually most important when it comes to obtaining an interview in the first place.

If it works out it works out. Have a backup in case.

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and it doesn't matter if you are top 5-10% in general either. Some people are just really good at particular things (usually because they focus on them) and that probably is more important. 

Never forget that an "average" medical student is still extremely smart, hardworking, and potentially dedicated to an area. We get blinded to that fact at times and usually that cause silly mental blocks. 

Doesn't hurt either that in a pass/fail system they don't know where you are anyway. 

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